Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who knew?

"all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge"
Colossians 2:3 

My dictionary is over 2000 pages.  I have four Bibles, including a Study Bible, a concordance, a biographical dictionary, and a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.  These are just a few of the books on my reference shelf, and that is just one of my shelves.  I own many books, and only a small fraction of those are fiction, because I like truth.  I like facts.

I know a lot of facts, some of which are trivial:  I know the name of the horse that Robert E. Lee rode in the Civil War. I know the name of the man who sculpted Mount Rushmore.  I know how high the Washington Monument is.  All fascinating, but none of it would I consider “God’s wisdom.”

I also know facts that are important.  I know my blood type.  I know my daughter is allergic to shellfish.  I know what a red light means.  I know what Jesus’ death on the cross means.

While I like facts, what I like more are answers.  I can be inquisitive, tenacious and curious to a fault.  I do not easily give up if there’s something I want to know.  British novelist Lawrence Sterne said, “the desire of knowledge is like the thirst of riches; it increases ever with the acquisition of it.” 

I wonder a great many things, and I have a great many questions, as my patient husband can attest.  Some of them are frequently asked questions, such as “why did that bad thing have to happen to that good person?” and “did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?”  but I also wonder: “what was Jesus writing in the sand?” and  “why is the pit in an avocado so big?”

My problem is that some, probably most, knowledge, is not ours to learn.  God withholds more information than we can possibly fathom, much of it, I suspect, because our finite minds cannot possibly fathom it.  Isaiah 28:13 says, “But the Word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept; line by line; here a little and there a little.”

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all.”  But when I ask for wisdom, am I asking for God’s wisdom?   There is a great deal of wisdom in this world that God considers foolishness.  Do we recognize it when we see it?   We’re surrounded by information, but we’re starving for knowledge.  All the things we know add up to how little we really know.  Ronald Reagan once said of someone, “It is rude and ungentlemanly to bluntly call them ignorant.  They just know a great many things that aren’t true.”  

English Biologist, Thomas Henry Huxley said “the great end of life is not knowledge, but action.”  Perhaps when he wrote that, he was thinking of James 1:22, “Be doers of the Word, not hearers only.”  Perhaps some knowledge is withheld until we have done God’s work with the knowledge He already gave us.  Sophocles said, “knowledge must come through action”.   And Oswald Chambers wrote, “God will never reveal more truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you know already.  It is not study that does it, but obedience.  The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens, and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away.”

Parenthetically, I also found this quote from Huxley, “if a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has enough to be out of danger?”  Another good question to ask God…

If we could comprehend God, He would cease to be what He is.  The ignorant cannot even understand the wise, much less the perfection of God.   Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”  

And that’s really all I need to know.

(And by the way, Robert E. Lee’s horse was named Traveler; Mount Rushmore was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum; and the Washington Monument is 555 feet high!) 

~ "For the earth will be filled 
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, 
as the waters cover the sea" ~
Habakkuk 2:14


  1. Excellent post today. So much good stuff in it.

    Oh, and Lee Harvey Oswald definitely acted alone. So did the guy on the grassy knoll. They just both happened to be in the same place at the same time. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

  2. lol... never heard that theory, but I love it!